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EXCLUSIVE – An educational consultant used critical race theory to train school staff in Pennsylvania, according to documents obtained by America First Legal, which show explanations about “What is Whiteness” and how CRT fits into “Equity/Anti-Racism School Transformation Action Planning.”
The documents show multiple trainings given to school staff of the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District [TESD], including ones titled “Using Critical Race Theory to Transform Leadership and District,” and “Introduction to the Theory of Transformation and Systematic Racial Equity Framework.”
The documents show the school district participated in the Pacific Educational Group’s “Courageous Conversations,” which the website describes as “a process to understand and discuss race explicitly.”
The presentations explained “Critical Race Theory (CRT) in Public K-12 Education,” stating, “By the late 1970’s, Gloria Ladson-Billings and other prominent researchers, applied the principles of [Critical Legal Theory] to the field of education, suggesting that the process of schooling is neither race neutral nor “color-blind.” The culmination of their work provided five tenets of critical race theory to better understand the critical intersection of race and schooling.”
WHAT IS CRITICAL RACE THEORY?
The documents also included a “1 page handout… introducing [school districts] to Courageous Conversations.”
Among the conditions of Courageous Conversations were “Isolate Race,” “Use a ‘working definition’ for race,” and “Examine the presence and role of ‘Whiteness.'”
Another document attempted to explain “What is Whiteness,” building on three categories: color, culture and consciousness. Color, according to the document, was “Primary, Presence, Positioning,” while culture included “Being, Feeling and Acting White,” and consciousness included “Thinking and Reasoning White.”
According to the TESD website, the schools began working with PEG in 2018 “specifically to enhance the policies and practices around racial equity.”
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The TESD district website says at least 150 members of school staff have participated in trainings put on by the PEG, including a “two-day seminar designed to foster thoughtful exploration of how race influences culture and climate of our schools and to practice strategies for engaging in conversations around issues related to race.”
Components of the school’s initiative included a “District Executive Equity Leadership Team (DELT),” a “Leadership for Racial Equity Team (LEADS),” a “Site Equity Leadership Teams (E-Teams)” and “Students Organized for Anti-Racism.”
The E-teams, as described by the documents, are “Anti-Racist School Leaders, led by the principal, who design and deliver professional development activities which shift the culture of the school toward embracing school-wide equity transformation.”
America First Legal senior adviser Ian Prior told Fox News Digital the documents are the “best evidence I’ve seen that completely debunks the lie that critical race theory is not in our schools.”
“Critical race theory is absolutely used in schools. And these documents show that it is a key piece of how these equity anti-racist consultants design changes to a school system using critical race theory as a fundamental building block for those changes,” he added.
Prior pointed to another portion of the presentation, titled “Equity/Anti-Racism School Transformation Action Planning.”
The plan included overlapping circles, which placed “critical race theory” directly between “Courageous Conversations ‘Examining Presence and Role of Whiteness’” and “School Transformation Action Plan.”
“For anyone that’s claiming that critical race theory is not being used in schools, it’s not being used to shape the direction of schools, it’s not being used to train teachers, they’re absolutely lying, and these documents prove that beyond a reasonable doubt,” Prior said.
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According to a report from Parents Defending Education (PDE), the Pacific Educational Group has engaged with school districts in at least 19 states from 2013 to 2021, with contracts totaling more than $3.4 million. PDE’s report also noted in 2015, 42 school districts responded to a query from EAGnews on what they paid Pacific Educational Group between 2010 and 2015, with the number totaling $3.9 million.
Among the school districts listed in PDE’s report was a school district in Fort Worth, Texas, which spent $1.3 million to contract with the Pacific Educational Group as part of “District-Wide Racial Equity Training and Program Services.”
Several other school districts, including the Lawrence Public Schools in Kansas, the Oak Park and River Forest High School in Illinois and the Evanston Township High School District 202 in Illinois, spent tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars contracting with the Pacific Educational Group for “Courageous Conversations” certificates and trainings, according to Parents Defending Education.
“These equity consultants, whether it’s PEG or others, are making millions of dollars pushing critical race theory in schools, and then the schools are working overtime to try and prevent that information from getting out to the parents,” Prior added. “And then the legacy media, the left, unions and certain Democrats are all pushing back saying ‘no, there’s not any critical race theory in schools.’ Well, I would think that these documents show that absolutely, one of the biggest equity consultants in the country … is pushing critical race theory in schools.”
The Tredyffrin/Easttown School District came under scrutiny in 2021 for citing copyright concerns when initially not releasing the contents of the trainings provided by the Pacific Educational Group.
“The PEG materials have always been available for inspection in response to Right to Know Requests,” Brian Elias of Wisler Pearlstine, LLP, which serves as solicitor for the school district, told Fox News Digital. “Until the evening of Tuesday, June 7, 2022, PEG – as the owner of the materials – barred the reproduction of the materials. On June 7, PEG’s attorney sent our Solicitor … a letter authorizing TESD to produce the materials in response to Right to Know requests.”
Elias added that critical race theory is not taught in TESD schools.
“In some EIB leadership training, we discussed what CRT is and how it fits into the national context,” he said. “CRT is not an underpinning of what we are teaching in the classroom, and it is not in the TESD curriculum.”
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Pacific Educational Group did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment.